When you chat to the locals you get the inside info that’s not always in the guidebook or on the interwebs. So, in no particular order, here are 10 good reasons to visit Saldanha Bay.
- A champagne and oyster tour in the bay. Travel by boat to the oyster farms and learn about this fascinating industry. Find out how to shuck oysters and enjoy these ocean fresh treats paired with champagne. Kevin Ruck is the man who will make this happen, you can reach him at 022 714 3928 or [email protected]
- Hire a kayak and explore the bay with Clapotis Kayaking, you can reach Alan on 072 236 0888. Alan knows the area intimately and is happy to share his knowledge and answer questions.
- Go to Cup of Cake the most popular eatery in Saldanha. They serve Truth Coffee and an outstanding array of sweet and savoury treats and meals, prepared by Sanet Eigelaar of Kyknets Koekodoor fame. Find them at 37 Main Road, so close to the sea you can smell the salt in the air.
- Visit a working harbour, it is so interesting. Watch a salvage operation, see huge deep sea fishing vessels, talk to local fishermen and pop into the Sea Harvest Factory shop for fresh fish at ridiculous prices.
- Meet Linda Prezens, curator of the Saldanha Bay Cultural Village & Hoedjieskop Museum. Old photographs, artefacts and documents will provide great insight into the town and its multi-layered history. Linda brings the past to life with tales of family sagas and war stories, the local heroes and the apartheid era. She describes everyday life as a worker in the fishing factory and revives the horror of shipwrecks and fishermen lost at sea. She answers any question you pose to her. The museum is in an old house up on the hill overlooking the bay. Phone: +27 22 714 4662 Cell: +27 82 670 5151
- Enjoy nature on horseback in the military reserve with Oliphantskop Horse Rides. The best time to do this is during the flower season between July and September. Bookings must be made at their offices just past Mykonos in Langebaan and then they will accompany you to the reserve.
- Enjoy seafood with ocean views either on the deck at the Captains Cabin where you can mingle with the locals.
- There are plenty of paths and trails to explore either on foot or on a mountain bike in Saldanha Bay. The streets are quiet, and the landscape is rugged. Linda at the museum or any local will point you in the right direction.
- Saldanha is a water lovers playground. The bay is ideal for kite surfing, sailing, kayaking and windsurfing, but the beaches are uncrowded and great for long walks, swimming and playing on.
- Explore the West Coast Way Foodie Route and experience culture on your plate in Saldanha Bay and the surrounding towns. Enjoy generous West Coast portions of venison at Thali Thali Game Lodge, eat dried, salted fish in Velddrif at Bokkom Laan, have an ice cream on the beach in Langebaan or watch your supper being caught in Paternoster.
Find Saldanha on the on the West Coast Way Foodie Route
Distance from Cape Town: 142km
Where: R27 to R399
Coordinates: 33˚ 0′ 30” S 17˚ 56′ 40” E
West Coast Way is a unique collection of themed routes that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors when they do an adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trip for a day trip or a West Coast Holiday. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Tractor Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route – as well as the newly launched West Coast Way Wild Route, all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many.
For more information on West Coast Way, the other routes on offer, and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA.